Your personal ecocide
Think you are environmentally aware? Are you one of the exceptions who is doing.your bit for the planet? The answer is that even if you think you are, you are actually naive. People are carrying on and increasing their environmentally destructive lifestyles. There’s an end of the world party going on and it is being heavily promoted and cashed in on by industry.
There is an insidious lie being spun. A shiny sustainable movement unhinged from environmental metrics and spun by marketing companies funded by state agencies which informs us that we are greening our world and by association alleviating our inherent guilt at the destruction of our landbase.
We love to believe we are making a small difference by using recycled cups in work or posting our social media urges to stop using single use plastic, but the climate reality impact of our flights and tourism impact is neatly ignored by most.
And we are to blame on an individual level. Where do you think the demand for goods and services created by "business" comes from? Every time we buy anything we're consuming all the energy involved in creating that item and getting it to our doorstep. All the energy involved in "business" is accountable to individuals that value those goods and services.
No one in this cycle is paying the damages or externalities created by this consumption and production. Corporations have to reduce their production, and people have to reduce their consumption. Everyone has to give up some standard of living or some profits if we're to see this through without major ecocide. We need to stop lying to ourselves that we are actually making any individual contribution.
If their activity has a negative cost externality, such as making pollution for others who are not benefiting from their activity, they should pay a tax on that. It's how a truly free market society should work, taxation on negative externalities.
You the average person think you have made made significant sacrifices in that you pay a lot of money via tax that pays for environmentally friendly things, rather than something else.
The number of people genuinely making conscious lifestyle changes to live "greener" because they care about the environment are still an extremely small minority. The most commonly impactful things are driven by either forced changes (gas prices, plastic bag taxes, etc) or direct financial incentives (appliance replacement incentives, solar installation incentives, etc).
People can stop buying stuff they don't need, change to a vegetarian/vegan diet (or at least massively reduce the amount of dairy and meat products), reduce energy consumption at home (electric stuff like lights, appliances, energy vampires, turn down heating/climate control) and reduce the amount they travel as far as possible and switch to a more environmental way where possible.
If people stop paying for environmentally disastrous products, businesses will whine and point at all kinds of scapegoats but ultimately, they will stop producing that stuff. Waiting for someone else to fix the problem without a change of lifestyle is just wishful thinking.
Taxation has been very mildly applied to some things that will help a bit, but people need to change their expectations of there being no consequence for their actions if we are going to pull back at all. Which they haven’t, they’ve increased the long haul, short holiday flights and the conspicuous consumption of resources. It’s probably too late, anyway.
am a wildlife photographer based in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, who has an
affinity for Ireland's landscape and wildlife. The magic of Ireland is
truly evoked in the marriage of landscape and light.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.